HomePet TrainingTeaching Your Dog to Drop It

Teaching Your Dog to Drop It

Whether you have a new puppy or an older dog, teaching them basic commands is an essential part of their training. One such command that is often overlooked but extremely important is the “drop it” command. This command teaches your dog to release whatever object they have in their mouth, whether it’s a toy, food, or even something potentially dangerous. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of teaching your dog the “drop it” command, basic and advanced training techniques, common issues and how to troubleshoot them, and the benefits of incorporating this command into your dog’s training.


Teaching your dog the “drop it” command may seem like a minor aspect of their overall training, but it can make a huge difference in their behavior and safety. Many pet owners struggle with getting their dogs to give up items they shouldn’t have, such as socks, shoes, or even harmful objects like medicine or chocolate. By teaching your dog to drop whatever they have on command, you can prevent potential hazards and foster good behavior in your furry friend.

Importance of Teaching “Drop It” Command

Teaching Your Dog to Drop It

The “drop it” command may seem like a simple trick, but it has many practical uses. Not only does it help prevent your dog from getting into trouble by picking up and chewing on harmful objects, but it also promotes positive behaviors such as obedience, impulse control, and trust between you and your dog. Additionally, if your dog likes to play fetch, the “drop it” command becomes essential in their ability to retrieve and drop the ball or toy for another round of play.

Basic Training Techniques

Teaching Your Dog to Drop It

There are several ways to teach your dog the “drop it” command, with some methods being more effective than others. Regardless of which technique you choose, consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key to successfully teaching your dog anything.

Starting with the Basics

Before you begin training your dog to drop objects, they first need to understand the concept of “give” or “release.” This can be accomplished by teaching them to take treats gently from your hand and then gradually increasing the duration of time they hold the treat in their mouth before releasing it. Once your dog has mastered this basic skill, you can move on to teaching the “drop it” command.

Using Treats for Positive Reinforcement

The most common way to teach your dog the “drop it” command is through positive reinforcement using treats. Start by holding a treat in front of your dog’s nose and saying “drop it” firmly. When they release whatever object they have, immediately reward them with the treat and praise them. Repeat this process several times until your dog understands that dropping an object equals a treat and praise.

Incorporating Toys and Play

For dogs who are toy-obsessed, incorporating their toys into the training process can be beneficial. Start by playing tug-of-war with your dog and then give the “drop it” command. When they release the toy, reward them with a treat and continue playing. This method combines the enjoyment of playtime with the training of the “drop it” command.

Advanced Training Techniques

Once your dog has mastered the basic “drop it” command, you can move on to more advanced techniques to strengthen their understanding and obedience.

Adding Distractions

As your dog becomes more comfortable and consistent with the “drop it” command, it’s essential to add distractions to the training. Start by practicing in a quiet and controlled environment, then gradually introduce distractions such as other people, dogs, or toys. This will teach your dog to listen to the command even when there are other things going on around them.

Teaching “Drop It” with Multiple Objects

Another advanced technique is teaching your dog to differentiate between objects. Start by having your dog hold and drop a specific object, such as a toy or stick. Once they have mastered this, introduce other objects and give the command to drop only the chosen one. This can be helpful when you need your dog to give up something specific that they have picked up.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Like any training, teaching your dog the “drop it” command may encounter some challenges along the way. Here are some common issues and how to troubleshoot them:

Refusing to Drop the Object

If your dog is refusing to drop an object, do not yell or become aggressive. This will only escalate the situation and could lead to your dog becoming defensive. Instead, switch to a more high-value treat or toy to entice them to release the object. You can also try teaching the “leave it” command, which instructs your dog not to pick up or touch an object in the first place.

Struggling with Impulse Control

Some dogs may have trouble controlling their impulses and may have a hard time letting go of an object once they have it. To work on impulse control, start by asking your dog to “sit” or “stay” before giving the “drop it” command. This will reinforce the idea that they must listen to you before releasing an object.

Difficulty Generalizing the Command

Generalization is an essential part of any training, and it means your dog understands the command no matter where or when it is given. If your dog is having a hard time generalizing the “drop it” command, practice in different environments and situations, gradually increasing the level of distraction. This will help your dog understand that the command applies in all scenarios.

Benefits of Teaching “Drop It”

Aside from preventing your dog from chewing on harmful objects, there are many other benefits to teaching your dog the “drop it” command.

Building Trust and Obedience

When your dog listens and follows through with the “drop it” command, it builds trust between you and them. They understand that you are in control and will keep them safe, which strengthens the bond between pet and owner.

Preventing Accidents and Hazards

Dogs are curious creatures and love to explore their surroundings by putting objects in their mouth. This can lead to accidents and even potential hazards, especially if they swallow something harmful. By teaching your dog the “drop it” command, you can prevent these situations from occurring.

Encouraging Good Behavior

Teaching your dog any command requires positive reinforcement and consistency, which encourages good behavior overall. The “drop it” command teaches your dog that giving up an object on command is a desirable behavior, leading to more obedient and well-behaved pets.


Teaching your dog the “drop it” command is not only practical but also beneficial for their overall training. It promotes obedience, impulse control, and trust between you and your dog, while also preventing potential accidents and hazards. By using positive reinforcement and patience, you can successfully teach your furry friend this essential command and enjoy the many benefits it brings. Remember to always be consistent and patient, and your dog will soon be dropping objects on command like a pro.


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